The duties and responsibilities of a paralegal are very diverse. The support that these professionals provide to attorneys is critical to the success of the entire firm. Additionally, there are some essential tech skills that every paralegal must know to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Keeping these things in mind, here are 5 of the most important for any law office.
1. Understand How to Use e-discovery Technology
When a paralegal is trained in the legal field to do their jobs, they must know all of the different processes that are currently being used by their lawyers in court. Since the information that an attorney needs is available in various forms, the paralegal needs to know how to use more than one type of technology to accomplish their jobs efficiently. One commonly known technological resource is called e-discovery.
This resource is an electronic database where information is stored and retrieved for litigation in court. In this part of the automated legal process, the paralegal roles involve the following:
Each of the above is a critical part of the technology that’s used in the discovery process of a case.
2. Software Applications — Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and PowerPoint
Another big part of a paralegal job is to produce information for the attorneys that they support using different types of software applications. Some of the most commonly known and used in a law firm include the latest versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Word Processing applications are used to produce content that can be used in the form of a letter, report, etc. To expedite the process of this kind of work, the paralegal must be proficient in performing all of the functions required to add images and format a document. In some cases, the paralegal may even be required to pass a Word course to be approved for the job. These professionals must also be proficient in producing spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
3. Must Be Able to Send Electronic Fax
Attorneys tend to be on strict schedules to produce information in discovery; the paralegal’s support is imperative in getting things done quickly. For instance, if an attorney needs a document sent to them while in court or they need to send confidential information immediately, knowledge of the use of electronic faxing is imperative.
4. Understand the Usage and Benefits of Video Conferencing
Meetings across locations and time zones can be challenging. For this reason, video conferencing can keep everyone on the same page. Because not all attorneys are in the same office location for the meetings that they are required to attend, the paralegal must be able to set up a video conference at any time. Fortunately, there is a wide range of excellent benefits that people can benefit from significantly today; one of the most important is meeting live from diverse remote locations in countries all over the globe.
5. Retrieving Information with a Document Management System
When a paralegal is helping an attorney to prepare for, they need to make sure that they are well versed in their document management systems. In many cases, these systems are easy to learn. By using this kind of digital management system, the paralegal can easily retrieve documents, make sure that they are categorized correctly, and store for later usage. For instance, if a paralegal is helping an attorney to find information in a document management system, they can obtain the info in a matter of minutes instead of hours.